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Maryland man says he was demoted for defending himself

A Pizza Hut delivery driver claims his employer demoted him and reduced his shifts by over 10 hours per week after he defended himself with a fiberglass tent stake during an attempted robbery in Maryland. The man claims that representatives with Pizza Hut's corporate office informed him that he had acted in violation of a company policy that prohibits delivery drivers from carrying weapons and reassigned him to the kitchen with reduced pay.

Although the man has not taken legal action, he could potentially bring employment litigation against the pizza company for wrongfully demoting him. If successful, such a lawsuit could allow the man to regain his position as a delivery driver and possibly entitle him to monetary damages. It is unclear whether the man is considering a legal claim, but he explained that Pizza Hut is wronging its drivers by refusing to allow them to defend themselves in dangerous areas.

The man claims that he concealed a tent stake in his sleeve as he exited his vehicle to make a delivery, a practice he began after hearing about a fellow driver's robbery in the area. As he walked toward the house, the man was attacked by three teenage boys. The boys punched him in the face several times but fled after he began swinging the stake at them.

A representative with Pizza Hut would not comment on the company's no-weapons policy, but argued that it never demoted the man or reduced his hours and pay. "He remains employed with Pizza Hut and the situation is being handled internally with the utmost concern for his well-being," explained the representative. He added that that company views employee and customer safety as very important concerns.

Source: Baltimore Sun, "Pizza delivery driver says self-defense on job got him demoted," Yvonne Wenger, Jan. 1, 2013

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